James targets World Cup spot
Pompey keeper confident of proving fitness in time for finals
By Ben Collins. Last Updated: December 7, 2009 6:19pm
James: England ambition
David James is confident he can prove his fitness in time to establish himself as England's World Cup number one.
The Portsmouth goalkeeper had knee surgery in the summer and has missed the last four games through a calf strain suffered in the warm-up to Pompey's 1-0 defeat at Stoke last month.
The 39-year-old, who has won 48 caps, is on the road to recovery though and insists he never feared his World Cup dream was in jeopardy.
"It's a simple equation - if you get fit and playing then what happens afterwards happens," James told Sky Sports News.
"The frustration was that I wasn't playing because of a calf strain as opposed to the original injury. Now I just have to crack on."
Although James is regarded as England's first-choice keeper, injuries have restricted him to just one appearance in the last eight internationals with West Ham's Robert Green emerging as his main challenger.
And coach Fabio Capello has made it clear James must prove he has overcome his injury problems if he is to make the plane for South Africa next summer.
"The whole situation with England is easy to understand and you can see why Mr Capello wants his team fully fit going into matches or training," James added.
"It's going to be a tough World Cup. Regardless of the draw, it's always going to be tough playing the games and getting the results so the squad of 23, he wants to pick 23 fit players.
"My plan is to be fit initially for Portsmouth to make sure we do what counts to avoid relegation battle there.
"If that's successful then it should be good enough to give me a chance of being in the England squad and playing in the World Cup finals."
England are amongst the World Cup favourites having been drawn with USA, Slovenia and Algeria in the group stage but James insists it will not all be plain sailing.
"I watched the draw and was enthralled but to be fair, it doesn't matter who you draw," he said.
"There's a case for every team involved in the World Cup finals that have done something special to get there and they have because they've all had to qualify.
"It's just a case of doing what we do best - winning games - and then we'll see where it takes us, and hopefully it'll be all the way."